Originally written Jan 2, 2021
We’re saying goodbye to the dumpster fire that was 2020 and moving into a new year. It was a difficult time for many and, though we all know the stress of COVID won’t be lifted as soon as January first hits, we can still be hopeful that 2021 will bring some serious improvements.
With that in mind, here are some New Year’s resolutions to consider for a better, brighter love life this year:
If You’re Single:
1. Work on yourself first
So, this year, think about what it is that you really want. It may be that you really want a relationship, and if so, that’s fine too, but for this one, think about what you’re wanting to improve in yourself for yourself. Maybe you want to get in shape or lose weight, maybe you want to feel more confident and be kinder to yourself, maybe you want to spend more time on your hobbies. Whatever it is, make that your first priority.
2. Try New Things
Always wanted to try yoga? Go rock climbing? Learn a new instrument? There’s no time like the present! Not only will trying new things broaden your own horizons, it’s a great way to improve your love life, directly or indirectly. For one thing, new experiences can lead to meeting new people, and possibly even that special someone.
But even if you don’t meet anyone new at your new hot yoga class, having more hobbies gives you something interesting to talk about on dates, and exploring new things can help improve your own sense of happiness and self-esteem which is always more attractive.
3. Be Open to Dating Possibilities
Most of us have a so-called checklist of qualities we’re looking for in a partner – kindness, intelligence, attractiveness – and while it’s important to have standards and expectations, we can sometimes get bogged down by too many particulars. For instance, maybe your ideal mate has brown hair and blue eyes, is 6’3 and made of muscle, and has a sexy Australian accent, but while you’re out there searching for Chris Hemsworth, there are a ton of great guys you may be overlooking.
So, this year, keep an open mind when dating. Talking to someone who seems nice but isn’t exactly your type? Meet up for coffee anyway! You may be surprised at the in-person chemistry you develop. Of course, it’s not a good idea to settle for someone you’re not genuinely into, but by keeping an open mind and saying ‘yes’ to more dates, you’re at least giving more people a chance. Plus, you may get a better sense of the qualities you deem most important anyway.
4. Put Yourself Out There
Along with being open to dating possibilities, this year, aim to put yourself out there more often. Finding love often means being more vulnerable, so work on your vulnerability by doing things that you otherwise might’ve found too nerve-wracking. It’s scary to walk up to someone you don’t know and tell them you think they’re attractive! Or to make the first move. Or to go to dinner/a movie/ a yoga class by yourself. But do it anyway!
5. Find Closure
Oh, closure. It’s a tricky concept isn’t it? We all have exes and most of us have complicated or unresolved feelings about those exes. And while that’s normal, having baggage can really hold you back when trying to pursue a new relationship. So, this year, aim to leave the past in the past. If you want to, you can reach out to an ex and actually ask for a closure conversation, but it’s by no means necessary. You can find closure all by yourself. Think about the past relationships you’ve had, evaluate what went right and what went wrong, and use it as a learning experience moving forward.
If You’re In a Relationship:
1. Learn to Fight Better
Every couple has arguments – in fact, if you’re in a relationship where you never argue, I’d be willing to bet there’s a problem. But there’s a big difference between healthy and unhealthy fighting. The goal of a “fight” should be to resolve the issue, not to hurt your partner.
This year, make it a priority to improve your relationship by improving the way you and your bae have those dreaded difficult conversations.
Some helpful tips for fighting fair:
- Use “I” statements
- Focus on how you feel about something and not how your partner is wrong
- Take a break if things get too heated
- Remember to keep the argument on the current issue – bringing up the past or taking low blows isn’t going to help anyone.
2. Compliment more
This one is pretty simple. Everyone likes being appreciated and adored, so this year, find ways to give your partner more of that. Give random compliments, tell your partner what you love about them, say ‘thank you’ when they do something nice for you. It’s really easy to get into a rhythm where you skip the gratitude – maybe your partner always cleans up after dinner so you’ve come to expect it – but by going out of your way to tell them that you see and appreciate their efforts, you’ll improve your relationship a bunch.
3. Complain Less
Just as you should try and give your partner more positive attention, you should try and lay off the negativity a bit too. It’s natural to be annoyed sometimes in a relationship, and it can also be a very good thing to voice your grievances from time to time, but this year, try to focus on complaining a bit less. It’ll go a long way in making your relationship better.
4. Show Support
Making a New Year’s resolution doesn’t just have to be relationship-based. In fact, most people make resolutions that are far more solitary – eating healthier, exercising more, learning something new. So this year, find out what your partner’s resolution is and try to be as supportive as possible. You can even join them!
Say they want to get in shape – not only can you encourage them in their efforts, maybe try going to the gym with them on occasion.
And even if you don’t want to actually join them in their chosen resolution, there are a ton of ways to show interest and support. For example, if they want to read more, maybe talk to them about the new book they just picked up. It’s a small act, but one that really shows your partner that you’re paying attention and that you care.
5. Do Something Fun Together
2020 was a really hard year – we had a worldwide pandemic, a seriously shitty president, and a whole lot of isolation. Many people lost their jobs, people had to stop doing the social activities they loved, and vacations had to be canceled.
So, this year, you can try and make up for all that by aiming to do something fun together. You can try new restaurants, try a new activity, or plan a trip together (once it’s safe to do so, of course). Whatever you choose to do, it’ll bring you and your partner closer while (hopefully) getting you out of the house a bit more.
Happy New Year everyone! And no matter what your relationship status is, may 2021 bring you love and joy in all areas of your life.